The perfect players' coach

The perfect players' coach
Leong Chee Mun (far left), who received his certificate from Education Minister Heng Swee Keat, will use some of the cash prize to buy jerseys and equipment for the RI female footballers.

Raffles Institution's (RI) female footballers could be sporting new training jerseys as they go through their drills on the pitch in the near future.

They will have to thank their teacher-coach Leong Chee Mun for it.

The 49-year-old was unveiled as the winner of The New Paper S Soocelaraj Award at a ceremony at Bowen Secondary School Monday.

Leong was presented with a trophy and a certificate by Minister for Education Heng Swee Keat as well as a cash prize of $5,000, sponsored by the Soilbuild Group.

While Leong will use some of his prize money to give his colleagues from RI's physical education department a treat, a good portion of it will go to improving his team.

Aside from getting his charges new training jerseys, Leong also intends to use the cash to improve his training methods by dabbling in some sports science with heart-rate monitors.

He said: "I've wanted them to have different training jerseys for different days, so this is the opportunity to save them some money.

"I'll also probably get them some new training equipment. While the school has been very supportive, there are some things I would like to experiment with and I'm actually going to order some heart-rate monitors for them to keep track of their training intensity.

"If it works, we'll carry on with it, so it will probably benefit the batches to come."

While he faced stiff competition from the other three nominees in Toh Lin Sin (Nanyang Girls' High School), Danny Wong (Dunman Secondary School) and Tan Chiew Sern (RI), Leong stood out from the pack for grooming winning teams from scratch without a Direct School Admission programme.

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